What is AZ Alkmaar worth, the greatest danger in French football?
By Ethan Daudel Published There are 3 minutes , Update just now AZ Alkmaar en…
By Ethan Daudel
There are 3 minutes
Update just now
AZ Alkmaar en route to their first European title Vincent de Vries / PANORAMIC
The future of France in the UEFA ranking rests on the course of the Dutch club. A sad observation of the distressing level of French football on the continental scene.
France will be dressed in sky blue and burgundy on Thursday in reference to the colors of the West Ham club. For good reason, the Hammers will host AZ Alkmaar at the London Stadium for the semi-final first leg of the Europa League Conference. David Moyes’ men can save French football from a disaster on Thursday.
What impact on French football and the years to come?
After a bad french european countrysidethe Dutch are closer than ever to fifth place in the UEFA coefficient ranking (UEFA index) held so far by France. The stakes are high since the new format of the Champions League for the 2024/2025 season will have 36 teams instead of 32. This major change will allow the fifth country in the UEFA index to send four clubs (including one to the preliminary round) to attack this new formula of the cup with big ears. Conversely, the sixth country in the ranking will only have three clubs in C1 (including one in the preliminary round). Beyond the Champions League, it is also the future of French clubs in the other two European cups that could be upset. If France loses its fifth place at the end of the season, no more Ligue 1 club (apart from the winner of the Coupe de France) will go directly to the group stages of the Europa League and the Europa League Conference. The promise of competing in perilous play-offs which do not always succeed for clubs in France.
How can AZ Alkmaar sink France?
At the start of the season, France was 10.781 points ahead of the Netherlands. Today, the deal has changed dramatically with a small margin of 1.264 points. For the C4 (Europa League Conference) a victory offers two points and a draw one point. In addition, at this stage of the competition, ping a round earns an additional bonus point. The total points won by the clubs of the same country during the European season are divided at the end of the season by the number of teams entered in the various European cups. There too advantage to the Dutch who had five teams involved (Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord, FC Twente, AZ Alkmaar), one less than France (Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique de Marseille, AS Monaco, Stade Rennais, OGC Nice , FC Nantes).
The ball is now in the Batavian court since Nice, the last French representative, recently been eliminated by Swiss club FC Bale. France can thank its Italian neighbour, the Roma who heroically took out Feyenoord leader of the Dutch championship in the quarter of the Europa League. AZ, the last representative of the Eredivisie, is obliged to win its double confrontation against West Ham and the final against Fiorentina or FC Basel. Even in the event of a final victory, the slightest draw against the Hammers would prevent the Netherlands from reaching the 5e place in the UEFA index.
Sole threat to French football, what is AZ Alkmaar worth?
Few specialists could have predicted the solid course of the Dutch club in the Europa League Conference. Pascal Jansen’s formation generally evolves in 4-3-3. She relies on her Greek striker Vangelis Pavlidis, 20 goals this season, including 5 in this C4, her Swedish metronome Jesper Karlsson and her solid and decisive goalkeeper Matthew Ryan. AZ first flew over the play-offs to enter the group stages of the competition with five wins and one defeat and above all 18 goals scored for only two conceded.
The group stages were also a formality, apart from a misstep on the lawn of Apollon Limol (Cyprus) (1-0), the reds and whites won the rest of their matches. Thanks to their first place in Group E (15 points out of 18), they avoided the play-off round between the second in each group and the third in the Europa League. It was in the round of 16 that Europe began to be wary of AZ. One evening in March at the Stadio Olimpico, Lazio’s favorite lair of the competition and 2e of Serie A, AZ won 1-2 to everyone’s surprise. In the return match the following week, they put it back in front of their home crowd at AFAS Stadion (2-1).
Europe is then warned, the Dutch formation is a serious competitor to the final victory. The quarter-finals could have put an end to the Dutch club’s already heroic run, but their Australian goalkeeper Matthew Ryan decided otherwise by stopping two penalties during the decisive penalty shootout against Anderlecht (4-1). Illustrates their heroic comeback against Anderlecht and their superiority against Lazio, the Batavian team knows perfectly how to transcend itself in Europe. The chances of a trophy and the obligation to score points in the UEFA rankings should galvanize AZ players even more.
Thursday, France and the Netherlands could already be fixed on their fates. Let’s hope that the tricolors Alphonse Areola and Kurt Zouma, as good patriots, keep their cages and the French clification inviolate.